(JTA) – WeWork co-founder Adam Neumann’s ties to the Kabbalah Centre have been in the media recently. A recent Wall Street Journal story described the close ties between Neumann and the center, a Los Angeles-based organization best known for teaching a version of Jewish mysticism to Hollywood celebrities. According to the paper, the Israel-born Neumann would bring teachers from the center to company offices and retreats to teach executives. Neumann also reportedly drew inspiration from what he learned from the group when formulating his company values. But his mother said that her son now has a different relationship with Judaism. Avivit Neumann, an oncologist, told the Israeli radio channel 103FM that her son is part of Chabad-Lubavitch, a Hasidic group focused on reaching out to unaffiliated Jews. “Recently he has also become religious,” Avivit Neumann said in an Oct. 23 interview. “I respect his relationship with religion. It enriches him. Today he is an American Chabadnik. He sings songs on Shabbat and lives in Manhattan.”
On Tuesday, the Journal reported that SoftBank Group Corp., a Japanese conglomerate, had secured a deal for a majority stake in WeWork that could give Neumann a severance package worth nearly $1.7 billion.